March Madness is upon us.
But this week, the NCAA has shown how inequities in men and women’s sports still exist.
Earlier this week, former Oregon star and 2020 WNBA No. 1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, shared a photo of the differences between the weight rooms inside the NCAA Bubble for the men and women’s teams.
We caught up with Oregon Ducks Women’s Basketball Coach Kelly Graves to talk about his Ducks team in the 2021 NCAA tournament, but also to discuss how some of his players have led the charge in speaking out about the unequal treatment.
“I think the time for this kind of errors has come and gone. Let’s just do better,” Graves added.
The NCAA released a statement after outspoken critics called out the NCAA’s disparity in equipment available to women’s and men’s tournament teams.
“The original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament,” NCAA Senior Vice President of women's basketball Lynn Holzman said. “However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams.”
It was then that Oregon Duck forward Sedona Prince spoke up while sharing a video proving the NCAA had plenty of space to work with in the women's workout facility.
Coach Graves discussed just how proud he is of his team.
Graves continued, "We just can't make these kinds of mistakes anymore. These student-athletes deserve better."
The Ducks head coach also acknowledged that the NCAA has worked to make the weight room better.
“Apparently they have made additions to the weight room. Certainly not to the level of the men’s tournament, but they agreed there was an issue and they’ve tried to rectify it. So that’s been a positive.”
Saturday afternoon, Prince thanked her supporters on social media as well as the NCAA following the Ducks weight lifting session.
The Women’s weight room has been transformed.
“Social media is powerful.”